Basil Essential Oils - Interesting facts and a little bit of history......
An Introduction - Ancient and Traditional uses around the world.
BASIL ESSENTIAL OILS
Originally from India, where it has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicene, but most particularly in religious ceremonies to encourage pure thought.
This aromatic essential oil is also documented in the Ancient Egyptian medical writings of the Ebers Papyrus, dated 1550 BC, currently held in the University of Leipzig in Germany it is described as being "excellent for heart".
Now this versatile herb is cultivated world-wide after reaching Europe via the trade routes in the sixteenth century.
The botanical name Ocimum Basilicum is a mix of Greek and Latin - okimum meaning quick and basilicum meaning royal hence reference to it as the royal herb.
In Roman times it was used extensively in their cooking as the aphrodisiac qualities of the herb were appreciated by all ! It is also recorded that Pliny recommended the herb for epilepsy, diuresis and jaundice, similarly Ancient Chinese medical practioners used it for all manner of digestive disorders.
In the thirteenth century in Europe it was given for melancholy and depression.
Basil oil contiues to be widely used throughout the Eastern and Western world.
Ayurverdic and Hindu practice calls it's use "tulsi", which means holy basil, it is used in religious ceremonies and as an anti-venom against insect and snake bites also to help respiratory disorders and fever - Malaria in particular.
In China it continues to be used for digestive disorders and to improve blood circulation.
In some parts of Eastern Europe basil is still placed in the hands of the dead to ensure safe journey.In Greece the orthodox church uses it to prepare their holy water and pots of basil are placed below their altars.
In Europe some consider it to be a herb of fertility and others a herb to protect against death or evil, in Greece when the plant is sown words of abuse are said or sung to encourage healthy growth of the plant and an old saying in France "semer le basilic" refers to throwing slander at someone.
Large pots of aromatic basil can be found beside doors
and entrances throughout the Mediterranean guarding the occupants from evil spirits and mosquitoes !
Basil is now commonly used in all our homes for cooking.
Basil essential oil has many uses in aromatherapy as an anti-depressant, analgesic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, anti-spasmodic,
carminative, cephalic, digestive, emmenagogue, febrifuge, nervine, restorative, adrenal cortex stimulant, vermifuge.
Descriptions of the plant, its family and source.
Latin name- Ocimum Basilicum.
Many varieties of basil are available but here French basil is discussed also known as European or sweet basil.
Principal constituents and method of extraction.
Linalol, methyl chavicol, eugenol, limonene, citronellol, camphor, cineole, pinene.
Steam distillation of flowery tops and leaves resulting in a yellow, aromatic oil.
Click on the links below to discover more -
Follow the links below to discover how to use essential oils in your home, for beauty and health, for cooking, for cleaning, in soapmaking and also how to grow herbs. This wonderful herb deserves a place in everyones home.
Why not go to the Make Soap page, see the link below to try some easy Olive Oil based soap recipes.
All of the recipes use only Olive Oil, Essential Oils and Herbs, there are many to choose from, if you
would like know more about each respective herb or oil take a look at the navigation bar on the
left-hand side of the page to find out more.